Monday, March 16, 2009

Tilapia Lettuce Wraps - "Gyros"

My wife saw a recent Oprah episode that featured 3 celebrity chefs. Each was paired with a family that was clueless in the kitchen, and they each came up with a weeks worth of recipes that were interesting and simple to prepare. That, of course, means that I have more recipes to learn and try!
So far I've made 2 of them and will be making more. This recipe is from Cat Cora, the first female Iron Chef, and was titled "Lettuce 'Gyros'with Tilapia and Yogurt Sauce". The original can be found on Oprah's web site, but its not put together well- the idea is great, but the writeup isn't, so I've redone it here with a few of my own little modifications.

We enjoyed this - It's fresh tasting, satisfying, easy and quick, plus it's the base of a pretty healthy meal. I even like the yogurt sauce a kind of tzatziki, which is really saying something as I'm definitely not a fan of yogurt.

I made a few minor changes, for example, instead of using "butter lettuce", I used the romaine I already had in the fridge. Using the romaine also gave it a nice "crunch". I changed up the fish easoning mixture a bit, too.

Make the tzatziki first - it should sit in the fridge for a while, an hour or so, before serving. Beware, too - this tzatziki recipe makes a whole bunch more than you'll need for the lettuce wraps. You may want to half the tzatziki recipe.

Tilapia Lettuce Wraps with Tzatziki
Serves 4–6

Tilapia Lettuce Wraps:

3 fillets (6 ounces each) tilapia or whatever fish you prefer. If frozen, thaw completely first
4 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lime
1 tspn chili powder
1/4 tspn cayenne pepper
1/4 tspn ground cumin
1 tsp. sea salt, divided
Fresh black pepper
Romaine lettuce leaves, washed, dried
1 medium ripe tomato, seeded and diced
1/2 medium yellow onion , sliced very thinly
Black or kalamata olives , pitted and halved
1 Tbsp. dried Italian herb seasoning blend (I used Mrs. Dash® Tomato Basil Seasoning Blend)
2 or 3 scallions, sliced thinly on the bias

Preheat grill or oven to 400°.

In a mixing bowl, mix the tomatoes, onion, olives, Italian herb blend, 1/2 the olive oil, 1/2 the lime juice, 1/2 tspn salt and pepper and blend well. Set aside to serve as a condiment for the wraps.

Line a baking pan with foil and spray with vegetable spray.
Mix 1/2 the olive oil, 1/2 the lime juice, the chili powder, cayenne, cumin, pepper and 1/2 tspn salt in a small bowl.
Place the fish on the pan and spread the seasoning mixture over the fish.
Let the seasoned fish sit for 10 minutes.
Place in the oven until cooked through, but not dry, about 6 to 8 minutes.
Once the fish is done, remove from the oven and let sit until slightly warm.

On warmed serving plates, flake a generous amount of fish into each lettuce leaf.

Serve with the tomato/onion mixture, tzatziki (recipe below), scallions, etc. I served them with sliced cucumbers, too.

1 lemon , juiced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic , minced
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt

Add lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and salt to the yogurt. Chill for at least 1 hour.

I also served this with some Sabra hummus and rye crackers.

A delicious dinner!

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